August 2017

Associations between history of injury and ankle shape have OA implications

By Jordana Bieze Foster

Variations in ankle shape—some related to race—are associated with history of ankle injury, according to research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill that may have implications related to risk of post-traumatic ankle osteoarthritis (OA).

Investigators analyzed 213 ankles from 194 individuals (mean age 71 years); 108 ankles had a self-reported history of injury. White individuals accounted for 67% of the sample but 77.6% of the injured ankles.

Statistical shape modeling software was used to charac­terize ankle shape, based on weight­bearing lateral ankle radio­graphs. Of the 19 shape modeling modes that explained 80% of the shape variance, four were significantly associated with injury status; one of those four modes was also strongly associated with white race, though that association was not statistically significant.

Because studies involving different methods have found associations between ankle OA and ankle shape characteristics similar to those identified in the current study, the latest findings suggest a relationship between OA and history of ankle injury.

The study findings were published in late July by the online-only Journal of Foot & Ankle Research.


Nelson AE, Golightly YM, Lateef S, et al. Cross-sectional associations between variations in ankle shape by statistical shape modeling, injury history, and race: the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project. J Foot Ankle Res 2017;10:34.

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